The Phaeton Mania has been productive of a merciless infliction on horse flesh, for aspiring people, who cannot afford to keep a pair, will have a phaeton at any rate, and doom one unfortunate animal to do the work of two.
We now see at every corner of every street, and in every thoroughfare leading out of London those knacker-providers – four-wheeled chaises; well do they deserve this name, for they slowly but surely bring any horse, however good originally, to utter uselessness and decrepitude. These abominations have also been most justly termed kill-devils; the consistent heavy drag, at the worst possible angle, which requires the whole weight of the animal’s body, pressed forward, to move the lumbering load behind him, would destroy in six months the best horse that ever was “lapped in leather.” Husbands and fathers, with large wives and large families, never heed the torture they inflict upon the unhappy beast, but crowd one and all into the feeaton with a turn-over seat, and drive away their living cargoes to Clapton, Hackney, Turnham-green or Bow.
That diminutive quadruped, the pony, too, is enlisted in the barbarous [word obscured] and made now-a-days to do the work of a dray-horse [word obscured “]—on oss shay to Vest Vycombe and back in von day,” is mercy by comparison; these four-wheeled misery-making machines are fit for nobody by super-annuated spinsters and elderly gentlemen. It would be well if the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals were to look after them.
Hampshire Advertiser and Salisbury Guardian, Saturday January 9th, 1841.